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Pimientos de Padron - where to buy aside from Happy Quail farms?

Does anyone know of anyone else in the Bay Area who sells pimientos de padron aside from Happy Quail farms? I know Happy Quail sells at the Ferry Building, farmers markets and Spanish Table, but I'm looking for a grower that is, well, cheaper.

Tienda.com: http://www.tienda.com/food/pop/vg-08....
Happy Quail: http://www.happyquailfarms.com/

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  1. How much is HQ selling them for? I was just at the westside market in Santa Cruz this morning and two vendors were selling them. Gosh, can't remember exact farm names...I can be so bad about that. Both were selling overflowing pint-sized baskets for $3.50. Mariquita has also had them in the past...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      Happy Quail sells them at $5 for 2 or more bags, $6 for 1. Mariquita occasionally has them for about $5 a basket.

      1. re: Joan Kureczka

        Later in the season, HQ will usually lower the price to $4 a bag. They are crazy expensive, but so good.

      2. re: Carb Lover

        The farms that sold them last year at the Saturday morning market were: Everett Family Farm, Oso Velloso Farm, and Crystal Creek Farm. They unfailingly sold out well before noon every time I got to the market that late.

        Mariquita has retired from the Ferry Plaza Market, though, as of this month. They are focusing more on their restaurant and CSA businesses, and spending more time with their kids, who are poised to be leaving the nest in a few years.

        I just scored two one-gallon Pimentos de Padrón seedlings from Love Apple Farm in Ben Lomond: Cynthia Sandberg had a few non-heirloom tomato seedlings up for sale, and I eagerly grabbed two out of the three she had. I could eat a basket of these things a day, and am hoping they do well in our sunny location, a couple of miles inland from the coast.

        Keep your eyes out for Lindencroft Farm at the SC markets: Linda Butler calls herself "the pepper lady," and she is growing quite a diverse crop. She will also sell her fire-roasted sweet and hot pepper blends, which are frozen and vacuum-sealed. (Her other specialty is asparagus.)

      3. More than $3.50, I'm sure! I have to make it over to Santa Cruz! When and where is the market?

        3 Replies
        1. re: coolbean98

          I think $4 or $5, I really don't remember, but the gas if you are going down to Santa Cruz is going to be more.

          1. re: wally

            We're in Los Gatos all the time so South Bay locations are okay.

          2. re: coolbean98

            Follow the below link to my recent post on the westside market w/ a link to their website and directions. Wed. downtown market has also had them recently. Have not seen them at Sun. Live Oak market nor at Sat. Aptos market.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            Quality may be variable. The ones I bought were medium-sized and a touch past their prime, but still very nice. The other ones I saw looked big and on the pale side. Best I've had have been from Mariquita.

            If you're looking to buy in bulk, then you might consider emailing Mariquita to see if they'll be selling any at their tomato u-pick this year. Perhaps you could work out something. Of course, that would be a further schlep to Hollister, but you'd get some awesome tomatoes for cheap in the process!

            Mariquita tomato u-pick info: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          3. Marquita at the SFFP has sold it for the past few years. I've been out of town the past few weeks so I'm not sure what the deal is this year--if they have it or not. IMHO they are better and more price competitive than Happy Quail.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ciaogina

              Marquita has had Padron peppers for at least a month at the Ferry Plaza marquet. They do sometimes run out before the end of the day, so try to get there early. They sell them for $5 a basket, compared to $6 at Happy Quail, and Marquita's peppers are organic. I have yet to do a side by side taste test to see which one I like better.

              If you want to try them in a restaurant setting, Cesar in Berkeley uses Happy Quail, and Incanto in SF uses Marquita.

            2. I've got a couple of plants growing in my backyard. Bought at Whole Foods about a month ago for less than the cost of 1/4 lb from HQ farms. They seem to be coming along nicely. I'll report after harvest.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alfatcat

                This is a great alternative! They are selling (still?) them as young plants, not seeds, right? Do they grow okay in containers, as I don't have a yard? How is the fruit output?

              2. I bought some at the Spanish Table in Mill Valley. So they probably have them at the other ST locations. Incredibly delicious sauteed with a little olive oil and salt!
                http://www.spanishtable.com/

                4 Replies
                1. re: The Librarian

                  One of the farmers from whom I buy said he'd read/heard that some Spanish do not use olive oil, so we tried that way, and prefer it. We just sear the peppers in a skillet with kosher flake salt until they are blistered and wilted. I may do a very light spray of olive oil with my Misto, but I don't cook in it.

                  1. re: soquelcalifornia

                    I like the intensity of the char and more direct fragrance NOT using oil in the pan. Then I do a little drizzle before serving and a sprinkle with some good salt.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      "I like the intensity of the char and more direct fragrance NOT using oil in the pan."

                      Perfectly said. Agreed. But I do like searing them in the salt, too. Maybe I'm just imagining the difference. I'll do a comparison next time I have some in the house.

                      1. re: soquelcalifornia

                        When I can't get padron's, I use the same method with shishito peppers purchased from Japanese grocers (e.g., Mitsuwa).